Hundreds of people have backed calls for improved road safety ahead of the opening of a new Beckenham secondary school.

More than 800 concerned Bromley residents have now thrown their weight behind a campaign for a new pedestrian crossing near the new site of Eden Park High School.

The school will open its new buildings later this year and campaigners say students will be “taking their life into their own hands” trying to cross Upper Elmers End Road.

Helen Cristofoli, who started the petition, wrote: “I am calling for a pedestrian/pelican crossing to be installed on Upper Elmers End Road at the junction with Balmoral Avenue.

“This is such a busy road and we need to keep our children safe.”

Eden Park High School is a relatively new school, opening back in 2017. A new bigger facility will open in September in Balmoral Avenue.

Supporters of the petition say a new crossing is “just common sense”, with one person writing: “It’s imperative that our children and parents alike can get to school safely, especially with the loons that drive round this area.”

Responding to the petition, a spokesman for Bromley Council said there is already a “caged pedestrian refuge” in Upper Elmers End Road that students could use.

A spokesman said: “The council has established from past experience that unless a crossing is on or near a desired crossing line it will not be used. There are a number of potential options that could be looked at once the traffic and pupil movements have been established.

“We are also keen that the school continues to develop a school travel plan so that all students can arrive at school by active means. There is actually a caged pedestrian refuge in Upper Elmers End Road which is used by a school crossing patrol, which does provide a crossing point across Upper Elmers End Road which pupils could potentially use if they need to cross the this road.”

Liberal Democrat activist Chloe-Jane Ross said it would be “unrealistic” to expect kids not to try and cross at the bus stop.

She said: “Residents have highlighted the dangers of crossing Upper Elmers End Road for many years, and the arrival of the new school makes this even more important.

“The ‘caged’ refuge is too far along Upper Elmers End Road to be practical – the bus stop is immediately opposite the junction with Balmoral Avenue and it’s completely unrealistic to think that school children won’t try to cross there.”

The petition for a new crossing can be viewed here.

It comes weeks after Bromley Council defended a road improvement scheme in West Wickham following calls for an urgent risk assessment.